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  • Trip Report Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

    I love Disney's theme park fare, but I am no expert at its diversity. So I'm off on an odyssey, visiting the Disneyland Resort with a fresh perspective to keep the culinary arts in mind. Each year guests consume more then 14,000 bowls of signature corn chowder from Storytellers and countless corn dogs from the Resort, but there is so much more the Resort offers. So I have decided that each time I visit the resort I will try off the beaten path fare in addition to traditional favorites. Today, I share with you the beginnings of my Odyssey this time with gastronomic delights on the horizon; starting with my breakfast in Downtown Disney all the way through the week and being diner number one for traditional service at the Carthay Circle.

    ------

    I had just arrived in Anaheim after driving from Monterey to get to Disneyland's California Adventure for the AP preview we were invited to on June 11th. We had some Rainforest Cafe gift cards we decided to go use and headed to Downtown Disney for breakfast. Our order was the same thing we order every time out of familiarity, orange juice and two orders of Breakfast Sliders, one with bacon, one without.



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    Nothing really special about the orange juice, generic restaurant OJ, just a step up from overly-processed Denny's OJ. The slider's are simply but consistent and addictive. The buns were nicely toasted off, the eggs were fluffy with melted cheese. The bacon was a little burnt but not so much that it distracted from the overall-taste. The breakfast potatoes were good, a little more spicy then the many times we have had them in the past, this was primarily because someone dumped a bit to much black pepper into the mix.

    I wanted to discover if the rumors were true about being able to see Buena Vista Street before our official preview time of 1-5. We got to go in early with only a handful of other people present to take photos, but sadly the shops and eateries were not open so that part of my mission would have to wait until my return several days later. In the meantime we decided to head to the Pacific Wharf where we found the sole entrance to Carsland would be for the preview. We found a shaded seat and decided to grab a drink while we waited at Rita's Baja Blender's.

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    We decided to split Rita's Grand Margarita with Salt. Our only other Disney margarita experience was with an outdoor vendor at World Showcase in Epcot at Walt Disney World and assumed this would be similar. At WDW the margarita was not overly sugary, and had some liquor to it but overall was an easily consumable drink. Rita's was much harder on the other hand. The menu says it has a "splash of liqueur" in it, but it had more of a splash then any outdoor drink vendor location we had been to, especially those in the former Electronica at DCA. There was almost no taste of sugar at all, and the liqueur scent and taste was overly-powerful. Maybe we had them on an off-day where the alcohol was a higher percentage in the drink or something with their mix was wrong, but it was not a well-balanced margarita.

    Now you first need to understand that I am no means a vegetarian and love my carnivorous appetite, however my girlfriend is somewhere between vegetarian and pescatarian which allows me to try menu items I might not if I were on my own. Lets try getting our initial kicks off Route 66.

    First stop in Carsland was Flo's V8 Diner.

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    From all the preview information Carsland would feature a variety of vegetarian dishes including their boasted Veggie Tater Bake. It was originally described to me as a vegetarian shepherds pie. The thought was crazy since anytime I go to a restaurant if Shepherds Pie is on the menu I order it to compare it to other's I have eaten in my travels. We only had to wait a couple minute's in Flo's line, meanwhile I could peruse the menu to see the variety of food available.

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    I was surprised to see so many side dish options, and I needed a bit of guidance. My girlfriend and I decided on the roasted corn medley to go with the Veggie Tater Bake ($10.49). It did not take long for the Veggie Tater Bake to be prepared and at first glance we thought the presentation was a bit lackluster, and definitely did not resemble a well manufactured shepherds pie. The question remained how did it taste though.

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    First the garlic chive roll was perfectly warmed and flaked apart as I bit into it. The corn medley was decent, evenly spiced with good flavor. The Veggie Tater Bake though was out of this world. Throughout my time dining at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort easily one of the best, if not the best vegetarian dish in a casual dining setting. It does not look like much but it taste's amazing. The cheese was well cooked and when you cut into the dish the center oozed onto the smashed red potatoes. Inside was filled with an array of roasted vegetables and soy crumbles that even for a carnivore could have been confused as ground sausage. All around an amazing dish.

    From Flo's V8 Cafe we headed up the street towards the Cozy Cone Motel.

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    Once I arrived, we visited Cone #3 for some Chili Con Queso. When I looked closer at the menu I saw "vegetarian also available" in small type and I decided to that route so we could both try the food together. Now I knew that some of the items were served in edible cups but nothing could have been a greater sight to see then this:

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    You may ask why? If anyone like's Disneyland trivia, especially food trivia. There use to be a place called Case-de-Fritos where Rancho del Zocalo sits today. One of their most popular treats was the "Ta-Cup", originally with group beef, sauce, cheese, lettuce, frito's, served in an edible corn dough cup. This item definitely alludes back to that favored treat in the 50's.

    Frito's (or corn-chips) line the top of the edible bread cone (which was firm on the outside and flaky on the inside). At first glance I thought maybe it was just lined with chili with cheese and chips on top. Actually the cone is layered with melted cheese, sauce, chili and Frito's all the way down. At Disneyland I eat the traditional corn dog from the Little Red Wagon, I can easily see this becoming my equivalent in Disneyland's California Adventure.

    While I was also at Cone #3 I decided to try one of Carsland unique beverages.

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    We decided to try Fillmore's All-Natural Lemonade. Interestingly I remembered reading about the Cones on Disney Parks Blog before going to the park and reading about special foams being put on top of the drinks. On the menu at the Cone's there was no mention of foams so I thought it must be something they would be trying later. However, when the people in front of me got their "All-Natural" Lemonade topped with what looked like a layer of berry smoothie that were a little confused and walked away. We got ours and first I tried it through the straw which was the all-natural lemonade portion. The lemonade was very good and had just enough pulp for the "all-natural" texture and taste. It wasn't overly sweet, maybe just a little more then Simply Lemonade (if you have had that from your super market), but definitely closer to the taste of homemade lemonade.

    Then came time to taste the berry foam. It definitely is for an acquired taste. The foam tasted like a fluffy berry smoothie / starburst candy. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Next time if I want some lemonade I will be asking for "no foam".

    We had a great time on all of the attractions and taking in the sights. It wouldn't be for another three days we would be back in the park, on January 14th.

    ------

    We had just finished driving for six hours from northern california to get to Disneyland by it's opening time on January 14th. We thought it was going to be crazy since DCA was closed for the media event, but it turned out to be the opposite. Instead of starting with breakfast we were able to walk right onto Space Mountain and Star Tours. When we were done I thought we could try getting a table at the newly re-opened Carnation Cafe. I had made reservations for Carthay and Blue Bayou but had forgotten about Carnation.

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    When we walked up the place was nearly empty with only four tables with customers. The hostess was great and we sat down in part of the newly refurbished in-door dining area where Blue Ribbon Bakery once resided. The place is decorated with Main Street concept artwork and fresh carnations are placed at every table. I decided to go with Oscar's Choice.

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    Everything was cooked perfectly. When I got into my eggs the yolks ran perfectly, the potatoes were well seasoned, and the apple chicken sausage was great. The fruit was fresh and the biscuit had great golden color and was flaky. My girlfriend decided to get the Ham and Cheese Omelet sans Ham.

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    Again same fresh fruit and breakfast potatoes. The omelet was very fluffy and the cheese ratio was a little under what I would expect, but probably because normally there would be ham as well to add to the equation. Overall a good dish but it fall's short of Oscar's Choice. That being said while we were eating Oscar came out and sat down with us and asked us how we liked our food and the changes to the Carnation Cafe, and then posed for photos with both of us. Oscar is one of the friendliest Cast Members you will ever have the chance to meet. Just in case you don't know who Oscar is, other then his name being on a dish, he was hired for Disneyland in 1956 and has worked there ever since. He also has the honor of the only CM to have an official dish named after themselves.

    When we were done at Carnation Cafe and began our way to New Orleans Square and road Pirates of the Caribbean. When we got off I decided to take my girlfriend over to the Mint Julep Bar. We have been to Disneyland many times but each time I try saving something that we haven't done before, this time being her introduction to the Mickey-shaped Beignets ($3.99 for a 3-pack).

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    Perfectly cooked and somewhere between a pastry croissant and donut hole texture. They are aery in the inside and dusted with a generous amount of powdered sugar. So much so, if you have never been to the Mint Julep Bar, you probably haven't noticed the piles of powdered sugar lining the ground from these puppies. Also I thought with Starbucks opening across the way in DCA I should try some sort of coffee from Disneyland and ordered a Iced Caffe Mocha ($4.19).

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    Definitely not your overly sweet version you find at a variety of locations. Each sip is coffee first and foremost with an after hint of chocolate. Another Disney classic we had to try while we were here is the famed Mint Julep with the bar gets its name.

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    Mint Julep's are always refreshing. They are very very strong on the mint taste, so if mint is not your favorite flavor you might want to pass, but for those of us whom it is you need to try one of these in New Orleans.

    We continued through the day knocking out all of Fantasyland, again because it was so slow and made our way back to Tommorowland for part of our lunch. I have been going to Disneyland at least once each year since I was born, same with my parents, and my grandparents were there on opening day in 1955. I had never ever stepped foot in Redd Rockett's Pizza Port before, well maybe when it was Mission to Mars when I was little. I thought it was just a generic location that served an extension of Tommorowland Terrace's menu. Wow have I been wrong. I decided to come here because of a YouTube video I stumbled across from AMouseAndADream talking about something called Count Down Chicken Fusilli ($9.49). It definitely was not the type of food I expected and decided to try it out and compare it head to head to my girlfriends favorite lunchtime pasta at Plaza Inn.

    First of the outside of Redd's is completely misleading inside other then pizza is a variety of pasta's and really well thought out salad dishes (especially the Asian Salad I plan on trying in the future). My only complaint is CM's trying to make everyone wait through every single serving venue to get to the cashier. The serving venues form a partial circle and are by type (Salad, Pizza, Pasta...., lastly the Cashier). Anyway I finally got my Count Down dish and it looked pretty good.

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    The chicken was ok, it was a little dry from the heat lamps the had been keeping the food warm before I grabbed it during my line wait. However the pasta was really good. Fusilli pasta is thicker then Macaroni but it was cooked al dente. The garlic and parmesan cheese sauce was very tasty. I wish there had been just a little bit more sauce for the pasta. Overall it was a good dish and something I would eat again if I was in Tommorowland craving some pasta.

    We then headed to our traditional lunch time eatery of Plaza Inn. My girlfriend ordered her usual Penne Pasta with the Marina sauce ($12.49)

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    The pasta was cooked al dente and the marinara sauce was vibrant and rich with flavor. However the major let down here was the Italian bread it came with. My girlfriend must have had this dish at least fifteen times over the last year (many of which I tried) and the bread was completely different this time around and not in a good way. Before the bread was fresh, soft, chewy, flavorful with garlic and herbs. This time we were presented with an in-edible drumstick. I am not kidding, for fun I felt like parodying a moment from Kitchen Nightmares and grabbed the bread stick and smacked it hard against the side of our table outside. Don't worry no one was around. The bread did not flex or even break or dent, I think the table was hurt more then the breadstick was. Overall mediocre and disappointing. I know the dish can be done better from past visits, this just was not one of those times.

    In need of something to drink after trying to chew on the breadstick I just mentioned, I remembered a friend of mine telling me that at Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner you can get custom Coca-Cola products to drink. I walked in and saw nothing on the menu blatantly telling me anything until I got close enough to read in really fine print:

    (Add a "splash" of Cherry, Raspberry or Vanilla flavor to your soft drink .49)
    Last edited by OswaldTheRabbit; 06-19-2012, 04:22 PM. Reason: Fixing broken attachments, they show correctly on my side but not when posted
    "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing ... That it was all started by a mouse ... and inspired by a rabbit."

  • #2
    Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

    Wow, talk about making me hungry! Great descriptions and great photos! Although I look forward to seeing it again when the attachments are fixed! Very well done!


    Visit my mice chat toy shop!
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    • #3
      Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

      Coheteboy all the attachments are now fixed. Thanks for the comments.
      "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing ... That it was all started by a mouse ... and inspired by a rabbit."

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      • #4
        Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

        Great review!! Thankyou so much.

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        • #5
          Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

          I thoroughly enjoyed reading through your entire review. I greatly appreciate the beautiful pictures as well! Very tempted to try the vegetarian shepherd's pie next time I stop by.

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          • #6
            Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

            PLEASE keep doing these reports each and every time you go to DLR!!!! I loved your report and can't wait for your next one!!!!!!!!!

            dsny1mom

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            • #7
              Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

              Are you sure it was the appetizer you had that made you ill? I'm thinking you might have experienced the effects from that much sooner. Any number of dishes may have been disagreeable. But you would know better than anybody. Thanks for the photos and report! So fun to look at the food pics. Sometimes I wish I'd become a chef!


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              • #8
                Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                Thank you for the detailed review! It's good to know that adults can order off of the kids' menu at Carthay. It gives the pickier people in our group more options.

                I'm sorry to hear you got so sick! I've been sick at DL - no fun at all. Hopefully it cleared up enough for you to enjoy a few more days of your trip.

                <side note> I grew up in Monterey County! Nice to see someone on the boards from my old stomping grounds.

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                • #9
                  Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                  Wow, amazing report. Thank you so much!!

                  I am definitely trying the Shepard's pie on our next trip!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                    BEAUTIFUL report! Seriously!


                    At this point I'm debating about if I have enough time to rush down to the park and eat. I'm really hungry now for some reason. Lol

                    I think I'll just print some of your pics, walk through the gates and say, "I want this...please. Thanks."
                    "People of Earth, how are you?"

                    A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

                    "I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself.
                    Fish are friends, not food."

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                    • #11
                      Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                      I love this thread, all your information/reviews, and photos. Extraordinarily helpful and best new thread here in a long time I've come across, and definitely helped me decide what food offerings to try when I get to the new DCA come August.

                      Thank you and keep these coming if you visit the parks and try more new stuff!
                      when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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                      • #12
                        Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                        Wow one of THE best trip reports this year so far. Well done. I favorited it on my browser to refer back to it on my upcoming visit to the parks. Thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                          Wow! Just reading that made my mouth water. Thanks for writing such a great review of all those restaurants!
                          Visits to the Disneyland Resort on current Annual Pass: 23... Times Performed at the DLR: 2
                          Next predicted visit to the Disneyland Resort: ???
                          :ap:
                          Proud Disneyland Resort Premium Annual Passholder :ap:
                          :meet:
                          Number of Fantasmic Showings watched: 4 :meet:

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                          • #14
                            Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                            I love your food report! I didn't know that Cars Land has so much stuff to offer, too- I've mostly been ignoring it since I hated Cars. I find it hilarious that your g/f likes to always eat off the children's menu..! :P

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                            • #15
                              Re: Oswald's Odyssey : Food Fare From Across The Resort (6/11-6/18)

                              @Maggieb9975 I am glad you enjoyed the review.

                              @SorcererPHD & @Juni The Veggie Tater Bake was amazing, I look forward to try cooking it at home. Disney Parks Blog actually posted the recipe with an accompanying video.

                              @Dsny1mom Thanks again. I hope to go Disneyland again in the next couple months, but my next major trip will be Walt Disney World in the Fall. My next major post will be later today with all of the Carthay Menu information, and then I will be working on a post having to do with Innoventions.

                              @IzzyInWonderland Thank you. Sometimes when I see food prepared it would be amazing to be a chef. As for that being the dish, without getting graphic, it was the one thing I did not like going down, and it was the one recognizable dish that I saw later.

                              @Escape2Disney Thanks, its always good to meet people who are or were from the same area. Sadly my sickness caused my last two remaining days to be primarily spent in a hotel room. First time I had ever been sick on a Disney vacation. I was also pleased to hear that my girlfriend could order off the kid's menu because when I was there initially on the 11th the Carthay CM's that were out said that would not be possible.

                              @Dude4Real Thanks again, I never thought of your idea before. I guess if I see something I really like on here I should keep a photo of it on my phone to show a CM and they can point me in the right direction.

                              @RegionsBeyond Thank you so much. I appreciate the comments. I really wish I would have had more time because I barley scratched the surface of Carsland and was unable to review a single dish from the public Carthay menu which has some good offerings, including Sushi.

                              @Micoofy Duck I am glad you found my food report helpful for your future visits. It means a lot that you bookmarked it. Thanks.

                              @Roxy72 Something I advise anyone, even if you did not like the movie Cars go into that part of the park for the food. I think people will find it has some of the best food quality in the park. Thank you.
                              "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing ... That it was all started by a mouse ... and inspired by a rabbit."

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